Meet the Goats Behind the Soaps
Meet Tattle. She's not the only goat behind what I do here, but she is the doe currently responsible for the fresh creamy milk in my soaps right now. Like any goat, she has her own distinct personality, and I thought it would be nice for any fans of Blackbird Mountain Soaps to get to know her a little.
Tattle was born right here, on our little farm! Her mother was rescued from a place that was selling off animals to liquidate assets having fallen on hard times. The goats were destined for meat sale if no one else wanted them. With the generous help of a few friends, we managed to save two of them. Tattle's birth was a somewhat surreal experience. Messy but amazing. Scary but triumphant. Tattle was the first born of two with a brother who looked more like mom. I instantly was smitten with her though. All black with a white star on her forehead. Such a beauty!
Here's baby Tattle with her mother, a very attentive and gentle momma. Despite her mom's super people friendly nature, Tattle began life showing a skittish side. So for a long time, Tattle didn't have a proper name. She would hang back while her bother would run up to us and play. "Shy girl" and "Shy goat" were not proper names.
As she got older and started finding her place in our tiny herd, Tattle's personality developed... along with her voice. She must have decided someone needed to be announcing things around here because that's what she did. Feeding time? Someone acting up? A strange sight?
Our shy girl would yell and yell until one of her humans showed up to address the issue.
One day, I came rushing out of the house to the sound of her yelling as if in some mortal terror expecting to see a bear or something equally dangerous. Everyone was fine, nothing seemed wrong. The only thing amiss- a turkey had flown out of their area and was exploring the yard. This had set our no longer so shy goat turned drama queen off into her loud cries. And that was the day she finally got named. "Tattle". For telling on a turkey. LOL. Tattle's vocal performances became a regular part of life here throughout her early growing years. She would tell on other goats, anything that seemed out of place, visiting animals, anything. Thankfully, as she grew up, she calmed down. Her over the top yelling performances dwindled, and her playful side began to show.
Building a partnership with her as a milking goat took time too. Since she was never a lap goat like most of our other goats, Tattle is very touchy about being handled. Getting her to become comfortable with being milked went smoothly though. She loves routine, and she loves grains. I started off by putting a stand in the goat pen, and getting her used to the idea that this is where your favorite food time happens. Before long, she would jump on the stand and yell for me to hurry up and deliver breakfast!
And we just built onto things from there. Since I milk by hand, I never had to worry about acclimating her to any machinery or loud sounds. After practice, I was able to lead her to the milk stand, having moved it somewhere cleaner, she would hop right on and enjoy breakfast while I milk her and she eats. It's a good working relationship.
Tattle's temperament has been softened a lot by her niece, Cannoli. She went from being mostly reserved (except when she has something to yell about) to playful. I think Cannoli being younger and just so laid back and friendly had a lot to do with Tattle settling into a quieter, friendlier adult. She never played with the goats her own age, but seemed happy playing with her little niece who rapidly grew to match her in size. They pal around and Cannoli lets Tattle be in charge, an arrangement that seems to suit them both.
These days, Tattle has mostly given up the vocal performances that were her namesake. She loves to sunbathe in the mornings, and try new foods like this lovely Halloween pumpkin that was kindly donated by good friends.
Our goats live in about 2.5 acres of fenced woodland where they have lots of to munch on, room to explore and play. You can see their house at the top of the hill, with straw spilling out the front. Each goat has their own quirks and habits and story.